Published: Sep. 8, 2020 at 10:40 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (TNN) -When it comes to preserving a trophy fish, there are many options, one of which is to mount it.

Fish can be mounted two ways. A skin mount, is the actual fish mounted, while a reproduction mount is constructed based off a picture and measurements of the fish.

“It’s preserving a significant memory in a person’s life,” said fisherman Mike McCarthy. “And you want it done right, and you want it to look natural.”

Taxidermist Mickey Bowman says he’s put in over 400 hours of work into some of his pieces.

“Especially on fish,” said Bowman. “There’s a lot of people that do deer and everything like that but there’s no painting or anything involved. It’s just two or three colors.”

“It’s artistry,” said McCarthy. “And I never realized that until I started having these fish done. And then when Mickey started explaining to me the work that goes into it.”

For reproduction mounts, Bowman uses an airbrush technique on some fish, and uses his finger to apply makeup to the mount.

For his competition pieces, it goes beyond just the fish. Bowman says he loves to get creative.

“When I do stuff and they want it a different ways, or they want a splash scene, or pedestal mount, and I really get into the habitat,” said Bowman.

Above all, the feeling of satisfaction when a customer comes to pick up a mount, is priceless.

“When they say ‘Wow, I really love this piece.’ It excites me,” said Bowman. “Because when you do something for somebody and there’s no complaints and they really enjoy it, and they go tell everybody else about what you do.”

Fisherman who want a skin mount are advised to wrap the fish in a towel, or glad wrap to better preserve it.

For reproduction mounts, all Bowman needs is a good picture, the total length, and the girth or weight.

For more information about Mickey Bowman’s taxidermy, you can find his page on Facebook.

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